Saturday Night Decompression

Some of us on the middle school team at school have a weekend tradition. We gather at the same house every Saturday night to cook, to eat, to drink and to decompress from the week behind us and for the week ahead. The group that gathers is ecletic: new teachers with just two or three years experience, a university professor of oceanography, several veteran teachers of twenty years or more, a PE teacher, two foreign language teachers, one fluent in seven languages and one for whom  English is a second language, two language arts teachers, two social studies teachers, two science teachers,a retired technology teacher, a public defender, and a narcotics officer for a nearby city. It becomes an even more interesting mix when you add in assorted small children, grandchildren, and dogs.

Some weekends, we have a menu and everyone brings a portion of the meal. Other weekends, it’s more like potluck and everyone brings what they feel like eating. Regardless, there is always a wide variety of food and drink and something for everyone- one of us is a vegetarian, one is allergic to soy and one eats no red meat. We graze and chat, soak in the hot tub, play pool, listen to music, and generally de-stress. Some weeks, I live for Saturday night.

Last night was a night of spontaneous celebrations. The youngest teachers got engaged- to each other, another teacher and his wife had started childbirth classes that afternoon for the baby they didn’t think they’d be able to have, another teacher had escaped a close call in a car accident during the week and arrived in a neck brace, and one teacher had a birthday. We baked a tiara birthday cake, toasted the happy couple, toasted the invalid, rubbed the expectant mother’s tummy and generally just enjoyed each other’s company.

Our agenda is wide and varied, and the only rules are no religion, no politics and no school! Last night’s biggest news item, other than the story of how the science teacher proposed to the math teacher during a game of scrabble on Friday night, was the red velvet martini one of the teachers had found on Pinterest. They brought the mixings and we all passed our opinions on the value of Pinterest in general and of frosting in a martini specifically. It was a grand and glorious night!

I have come to cherish these Saturday nights for many reasons. I am so grateful to have such a wide variety of people in my life- smart, opinionated, well-read and funny. Though our school lives are worlds apart and our paths don’t often cross during the school day, on weekends, we meet to celebrate our lives and our work and to strengthen each other in the difficult work of living in this world of ours.

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